Day Trips: Toilet Seat Museum
Toilet seat art collection relocates to The Colony
Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum has moved from his one-car garage in San Antonio to a new cathedral of flush in The Colony north of Dallas.
A week after his 98th birthday, Barney cut the ribbon on the new museum at the Truck Yard, a biergarten and restaurant opening this summer.
Jason and Amanda Boso paid about $18 a piece for Barney's collection of more than 1,400 artistically altered toilet seats. Their hope is that the unusual art collection – as well as 28 vintage cars sticking vertically out of the ground, Bob Wills' tour bus, live music, and a brewery – will make this a must-visit roadside attraction.
A retired master plumber and artist, Barney started his potty-lid art project by mounting deer antlers on a throne cover as a joke. The collection exploded after he acquired a stack of defective toilet seats for free. Before she passed away, Barney gave his wife a custom-painted seat on their wedding anniversaries.
Over nearly 30 years of being king of the commode covers, Barney decorated most of the seats in the collection, but some were given to him. One of his favorites is the toilet seat from an airplane that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis might have sat on.
It's all in good, clean fun. At the opening of the new museum, Barney said, "At my age, I'm just glad Jason is keeping a part of me alive. Ain't it great?"
Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum and the Truck Yard are at 5959 Grove Lane in The Colony. Jason says he hopes to open by the end of July. There are also Truck Yard locations in Dallas and Houston – but there's only one Toilet Seat Museum.
1,458th in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.